Shintaro Ogai is a talented Tokyo-based writer, our Filmmatic Season 7 Drama Winner, and the scribe behind the historical biopic "Riding With Charlie". Some Q&A with this budding dramatic writing talent....
1) How long have you been writing? I've been writing for about 20 years.
2) What screenwriting training have you received? I have studied screenwriting at Nihon University of Art in Tokyo for 4 years and worked as an Assistant in the Film Department for 2 years after graduating.
3) How many hours a week do you write? Do you have a day job as well, and how does it influence your writing projects? I write about 20-25 hours a week. My job is a computer programmer and I don't think it influence my writing that much.
4) What writing habits work for of you? Do you write in short or long shifts, at scheduled times? Anywhere from 3-5 hours per day, seven days a week.
5) What genres do you lean towards? Are all of your works dramatic features? Yes. All of my scripts are dramatic features.
6) We loved "Riding with Charlie", how would you describe the project to our readers? "Riding with Charlie is an emotional, dramatic and uplifting story about the American dream, the challenge of diversity in Old Hollywood, and the nature of true friendship. I feel the time is right for a movie in the same vein of 'Green Book', which features an inspiring, real-life story about uniting cultural divides.
7) How did you come up with the storyline behind "Riding with Charlie"? I visited the National Diet Library in Tokyo and collected old newspaper and magazine articles about Charlie Chaplin and Toraichi Kono from 100 years ago.
8) What are you working on now? What do you plan on writing in the near future? I'm currently working on a feature film script called "Good Luck Flag." It's a story about a dying World War 2 veteran makes an unlikely friendship with a troubled Iraq war soldier as they journey to return items from their respective battles.
9) Where would you like to be writing-wise in 3 years? I would like to get a manager or agent to represent my scripts and get them optioned.
10) What is it like building a career as a Tokyo-based writer? Do you hope to also gain work in the US market or elsewhere? Building a career as a Tokyo-based writer is very hard. You need to have a strong connection with people who work in film-making. And yes, I do hope to gain work in the US market.
11) Any advice for those about to write their first feature screenplay? Write short scripts at first, read a lot of feature scripts, then expand your short stories to long ones.
Congratulations once again to Shintaro Ogai, our Season 7 Drama Winner. All contact requests for Shintaro will be forwarded to his attention.